Few things are as satisfying as seeing two characters you’ve been shipping forever finally going in for the kiss.
I remember crowding around a lunch table in middle school with my friends, whispering and giggling about crushes, school dances, and wondering whether or not we’d get our first kisses before high school (we didn’t).
Even with all the new technology, obsessions, and happenings every year in the world, we never stop being captivated by some good old fashioned romance and the inner workings of relationships. Most of our favorite TV shows, books, and movies incorporate romantic relationships as a core component of the story.
In short, we love love. We love to watch people fall in love, profess their feelings, and share a much-anticipated kiss — perhaps the most important part of every love story, right? Here are the best movie kisses that captured the magic, anticipation, and romance of a kiss.
Mary Jane and Peter Parker in Spider-Man
There was a collective cheer in our hearts as Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) went in for their unforgettable, upside-down kiss in the pouring rain. The way she ever so slowly rolled down his mask, building the tension with each passing moment? Absolute perfection.
Rose and Jack in Titanic
Titanic will never cease to be a staple of the romance genre. The hearts of movie watchers around the world flutter and leap as we watch Rose (Kate Winslet), an engaged rich girl, and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio), a penniless world traveler, fall hopelessly in love with each other, defying all odds and propriety. And who could forget their passionate kiss as they stood, nay, flew at the front of the ship?
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind
Set in the heart of the South during the Civil War, Gone with the Wind is often regarded as an American classic, thanks to its perfect mix of drama and love. When Scarlett, an impossibly stubborn young woman, first meets Rhett, it’s not quite love at first sight. But after some time, Rhett proposes to Scarlett, pulling her into a deep, impassioned, embrace that leaves viewers breathless.
Bridget Jones and Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’s Diary
The only problem that Bridget (Renee Zellwegger) and Mark (Colin Firth) face to begin with is that they completely despise each other. But after Bridget finds out the truth about who Mark really is, and Mark sees a different side of Bridget, they can’t help but develop feelings for the other — leading to their iconic kiss in the snow, with Bridget only wearing underwear and a coat, after realizing she might lose Mark and running after the love of her life.
Jamal and Latika in Slumdog Millionaire
When Jamal (Dev Patel) and Latika (Freida Pinto) meet as children, it’s clear that they’ll be in each other's lives forever — despite the many people pulling them apart over the following years. But eventually, Jamal and Latika are reunited, with the entire movie leading up to this impossibly romantic, tender kiss in a train station that had everyone watching yell, finally!
Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Holly (Audrey Hepburn) and Paul (George Peppard) are two lost souls who happen to be new neighbors when they meet. As they get closer, it becomes obvious that they’re meant to be, despite their messy personal lives. And finally, after realizing their feelings, their romantic kiss in the rain (what is it about kissing in the rain?) seals the deal.
Hannah and Jacob in Crazy Stupid Love
Hannah (Emma Stone) is a recent law school graduate. Jacob (Ryan Gosling) is a ladies man who makes a game of picking up women. When Jacob first hits on Hannah, she rejects his advances. But after getting dumped by her boyfriend who she’d been expecting a proposal from, Hannah finds Jacob and shares a steamy, fiery kiss with him, despite barely knowing him. But their chemistry isn’t by accident, since the two end up falling in love.
Kat and Patrick in 10 Things I Hate about You
One of my personal favorites, 10 Things I Hate about You centers around Kat (Julia Stiles), an artistic, angsty teen, and Patrick (Heath Ledger), a cool guy whose interest in Kat starts because of a dare. But soon enough, he finds himself falling for her — in true ‘90s chick flick fashion. Didn’t we all dream about being kissed in a pile of hay in the middle of a competitive paintball war after their iconic kiss?
Allie and Noah in The Notebook
Allie (Rachel McAdams) and Noah (Ryan Gosling) share a magnetic kind of love that made millions jealous. Soon, their lives lead them in different directions — but that can’t be the end of them, right? With a rain-drenched, emotional makeout (I’m telling you, rain has a special magic), the two reunite in a scene so iconic that it won the MTV Best Kiss Award.
Ilsa and Rick in Casablanca
Rick (Humphrey Bogart) is stunned when Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) walks into his club one night — the two ex-lovers hadn’t ended well. But eventually, Ilsa confesses to Rick that she never stopped loving him, and the two share a dramatic, loving embrace that’s impossible to forget.
Andie and Benjamin in How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days
Andie (Kate Hudson) and Benjamin’s (Matthew McConaughey) romance began for all the wrong reasons, with Andie trying to make him leave and Benjamin trying to make her stay — both for work assignments unbeknownst to the other person. But they can’t help but slowly fall for each other, eventually finding themselves in a heartfelt makeout that they never saw coming.
Lara Jean and Peter in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Although Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter’s (Noah Centineo) relationship starts off fake in order to serve their own purposes, these two start to see the good in each other, falling deeper and deeper in love, before sharing a totally hot, intense kiss in a hot tub. After that, there’s no denying their true feelings for one another.
Princess Buttercup and Westley in The Princess Bride
Princess Buttercup (Robin Wright) falls in love with Westley (Cary Elwes) without even knowing his name — but it seems the two weren’t meant to be. Years later, Buttercup is kidnapped and Westley comes to her rescue. And who can forget the heated kiss they share after all those years?
Arwen and Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Often regarded as one of the most beautiful tales of adventure and fantasy ever written, The Lord of the Rings also delivers in the romance department. Arwen and Aragorn, the story’s resident lovers, offer viewers an image of a couple who share a totally enviable, deep love for each other — perfectly depicted in a gorgeous scene where they recount the early days of their love and affirm their commitment to each other before embracing in a soft, loving kiss. Who didn’t want to be Arwen after that scene?
This Valentine’s Day, single or not, celebrate by revisiting some of your favorite love stories and revel in the oh-so-memorable and hopelessly romantic on-screen kisses (bonus points if it’s in the rain).
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